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Wizards 114, Heat 93

The SportsXchange

WASHINGTON -- Forward Trevor Ariza scored 25 points and the Washington Wizards took advantage of the Miami Heat playing without forward LeBron James and center Chris Bosh for a 114-93 victory on Monday night.

Miami's largest loss of the season locked up the Eastern Conference regular-season title for the idle Indiana Pacers. The Heat (54-27), who have lost four of five games, will enter the postseason as the second seed.

Forward Nene had 18 points, forward Al Harrington added 16 and guard John Wall had 13 assists as the Wizards (43-28) dominated early, shooting 70.3 percent in the first half for 70-48 halftime lead.

The Wizards outscored the Heat 43-22 in a second quarter highlighted by 3-pointers and a full-court pass.

Washington, which has won three straight games and five of seven, led by 36 points in the second half.

The Wizards, currently sixth in the East, are one game ahead of the Charlotte Bobcats, who played at the Atlanta Hawks on Monday.

Forward Michael Beasley scored 18 points and guard Toney Douglas had 14 for the Heat. Miami is 3-9 on the road since March 4.

Guard Dwyane Wade played his second straight game since returning from a knee injury that kept him out for nine contests. Wade scored nine points in 18 minutes as Miami lost its third straight road game.

In recent seasons James has rested during some of Miami's final games, often because the team's postseason seeding is set. He has dealt with back soreness at times this season.

The Wizards made 10 of 16 3-point attempts before halftime and finished 14 of 29. Ariza went 5 of 8 from beyond the arc and 10 of 13 overall.

Beal scored all 15 of his points in the first half, three coming on a conventional 3-point play after hauling a perfectly throw full-court pass from guard Andre Miller. Beal caught the ball in stride for an immediate layup despite a foul on the play. The converted 3-point play put the Wizards up 59-39.

Nene's jumper gave Washington its largest lead at 103-67. He sat out Saturday's 104-91 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.

The teams split the four-game season series, each winning on their respective home court. The Wizards defeated the Heat 114-97 at home on Jan. 15 and led by as many as 34 points.

NOTES: With F LeBron James and C Chris Bosh sitting out, G Toney Douglas and F Shane Battier started for the Miami. The Heat used their 20th starting lineup of the season. ... Heat G Dwyane Wade (knee) played his second consecutive game with a 20- to 24-minute restriction. ... The three-game winning streak is Washington's longest since a six-game run from Feb. 19-March 1. ... The Heat close the regular season against the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday, the same day the Wizards play their finale in Boston against the Celtics. Washington is 2-1 versus the Celtics this season, including a victory at Boston.
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